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Eth Zurich: The Latest Architecture and News

Building Culture: New Architecture Reshaping Tradition in Peru

Peru is home to a wide range of new cultural architecture. Strongly tied to the country’s megadiverse geography, Peru’s modern projects reinterpret past building techniques. Taking inspiration from the vernacular and varied landscapes, these contemporary buildings arise from long traditions rooted in ancient cultures and civilizations.

© Aitor Ortiz © Iwan Baan Courtesy of ETH Zurich + PUCP © Cristobal Palma, Estudio Palma + 20

Gothic Construction Techniques Inspire ETH Zurich's Lightweight Concrete Floor Slabs

With the intention of maximizing available space and avoiding steep construction costs, researchers from ETH Zurich’s Department of Architecture have devised a concrete floor slab that with a thickness of a mere 2cm, remains load bearing and simultaneously sustainable. Inspired by the construction of Catalan vaults, this new floor system swaps reinforced steel bars for narrow vertical ribs, thus significantly reducing the weight of construction and ensuring stability to counter uneven distributions on its surface.

As opposed to traditional concrete floors that are evidently flat, these slabs are designed to arch to support major loads, reminiscent of the vaulted ceilings found in Gothic cathedrals. Without the need for steel reinforcing and with less concrete, the production of CO2 is minimized and the resulting 2cm floors are 70% lighter than their typical concrete counterparts.

via Block Research Group via Block Research Group via Block Research Group via Block Research Group + 5

ETH Zurich Develops 3D-Printed Concrete Columns

ETH Zurich has unveiled details of “Concrete Choreography,” an installation recently inaugurated in Riom, Switzerland. The installation presents the first robotically 3D printed concrete stage, consisting of columns fabricated without formwork, and printed to their full height in 2.5 hours. The process is expected to greatly improve the efficiency of concrete construction while achieving the fabrication of complex components.

CANactions International Architecture Festival 2019

CANactions is an educational platform, aimed to enhance the creation of places and communities where people love to live and work. CANactions integrates the most relevant world experience in the sphere of architecture and urbanism to educate and inspire responsibility active change makers. CANactions is a member of Future Architecture Platform.

This year, the 12th CANactions International Architecture Festival will be focused on an exploration of a notion of "Hromada" — Ukrainian name for the Community.

Zaha Hadid Architects and ETH Zurich Create 3D Knitted Concrete Pavilion Transportable via Suitcase

ETH Zurich, working in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects Computation and Design Group (ZHCODE) and Architecture Extrapolated (R-Ex) have unveiled a 3D-knitted shell serving as the primary shaping element for curved concrete structures.

The “KnitCandela” prototype represents the first application of this technology at an architectural scale, a five-tonne concrete structure on display at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City.

© Juan Pablo Allegre via ZHA © Leo Bieling via ZHA © Lex Reiter via ETH Zurich © Maria Verhulst via ETH Zurich + 14

ROB|ARCH 2018: Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art, and Design

The advent of robotics in the creative and construction industries has led to an amazing revolution, changing not just how things are designed and made, but also transforming knowledge cultures, politics and economics that surround them. As such, the ROB|ARCH 2018 conference – hosted by the NCCR Digital Fabrication and ETH Zurich – will continue this path, developing and revealing novel insights, applications and impacts of this transformation within the scientific, creative, and entrepreneurial domains, including, for example, architecture, structural design, civil and process engineering, art and design, and robotics. A particular focus lies upon cross-disciplinary approaches and applications, providing state-of-the-art knowledge, techniques and methods of robotics not just in individual areas of exploration, but also beyond. These ideals aspire to complement the transformation processes of emerging robotic research and applications, and to redefine cross-disciplinary work in an era of global digitalisation and knowledge transfer. Key topics and issues of ROB|ARCH 2018 include autonomous control systems, advanced construction, collaborative design tools, computerised materials and structures, adaptive sensing and actuation, on-site and cooperative robotics, machine-learning, human-machine interaction, large-scale robotic fabrication and networked workflows.

ETH Zurich Fabricated the World's First Full-Scale Architectural Project Using 3-D Sand Printing

Complex designs often require bulky structural systems to support imaginative forms. But 3D printing technology has begun to provide unlimited architectural potential without compromising design or structural durability. Researchers at ETH Zurich, under the leadership of Benjamin Dillenburger, have now developed an innovative 3D sand printing technique that allows for quick molding and material reuse.

They have used this technique to create a formwork to fabricate an 80 square meter lightweight concrete slab at the DFAB House, the first and largest construction of its kind. The “Smart Slab,” which carries a two-story timber unit above it, merges the structural durability and strength of concrete with the design liberation of 3D printing.

Courtesy of ETH Zurich / Tom Mundy Courtesy of ETH Zurich / Andrei Jipa Courtesy of ETH Zurich / Tom Mundy Courtesy of ETH Zurich / Tom Mundy + 11

ETH Zurich Uses Robots To Construct Three-Story Timber-Framed House

Courtesy of ETH Zurich
Courtesy of ETH Zurich

Digital technology has broken into the timber construction scene at ETH Zurich, where a research team is using programmed robots to construct load-bearing timber modules. These modules are being used to stabilize the top two levels of their DFAB HOUSE project, a three-story residential unit located in Dübendorf, which aims to bring a variety of digital construction methods together under one roof.

Courtesy of ETH Zurich Courtesy of ETH Zurich Courtesy of ETH Zurich Courtesy of ETH Zurich + 10

The Top 200 Universities in the World for Architecture 2018

Global higher education analysis firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has revealed its rankings of the world’s top universities for the study of Architecture / Built Environment for 2018. The eight edition of the survey compared 2,122 institutions across the globe offering courses in architecture or the built environment, narrowing down the list based on criteria including academic and employer reputation.

For the fourth straight year, MIT has topped the rankings, once again coming out ahead of the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Read on for the full rankings.

This Ultra-Thin Concrete Structure Was Constructed Using a Novel Steel-Net Formwork System

Materials researchers from the Block Research Group at the ETH Zurich, together with architects supermanoeuvre, have revealed a prototype for an ultra-thin, sinuous concrete roof system with an average thickness of just 5 centimeters. Using digital design and fabrication technologies, the team was able to calculate and construct a self-supporting shell structure using the minimal necessary material. This was facilitated through the use of a novel formwork system consisting of a net of steel cables and a polymer fabric stretched into a reusable scaffolding structure.

The Top 200 Universities in the World for Architecture 2017

Global higher education analysis firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has released in 2017 rankings of the world’s top universities for the study of Architecture & Built Environment. This year, for the seventh edition of the survey, QS has expanded the ranking to list the world’s top 200 schools, including institutions across all six inhabited continents.

For the third year in a row, MIT has topped the list, finishing ahead of the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). Read on for the full rankings.

Considering the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow

Aerial Futures, Grounded Visions: Shaping the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow was a two-day symposium held in October 2016 as part of the European Cultural Center's collateral event at the 2016 Venice Biennale. It encouraged discussion about the future of air travel from the perspectives of architecture, design, technology, culture and user experience. The event featured presentations and discussions by the likes of airport architect Curtis Fentress, Nelly Ben Yahoun, Donald Albrecht, Director of the Museum of the City of New York; Anna Gasco, post-doctoral researcher at the ETH-Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore; Jonathan Ledgard, co-founder of the Droneport Project; and Ashok Raiji, Principal at Arup New York.

Courtesy of Aerial Futures Courtesy of Aerial Futures Courtesy of Aerial Futures Courtesy of Aerial Futures + 4

A Floating Timber Pavilion Takes Center Stage at Manifesta 11 in Zurich

On June 11th, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, also known as Manifesta, began its 100-day stint in this edition's host city, Zurich, Switzerland. The festival's center-piece is a timber raft floating on Lake Zurich, known as the Pavilion of Reflections. The temporary structure was designed and realized by Studio Tom Emerson and a team of thirty students from ETH Zurich. Constructed primarily of timber, Christian Jankowski, curator of Manifesta 11, describes the exhibit “as a floating multi-functional platform with a giant LED screen, a stand for spectators, a swimming pool and a bar.”

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 14

Rock Print: The Remarkable Deinstallation of a Standout Exhibit at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

It’s a shame that the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial has already come and gone, and that the Windy City will have to wait until next fall for another dose of architectural euphoria. But it’s worth revisiting one of the event’s standout exhibits, an installation equally exemplary for its display as for its expiry. “Rock Print,” created by Gramazio Kohler Research of ETH Zurich and Skylar Tibbits of MIT's Self-Assembly Lab, was a four-legged, neo-primitive tower of stones and string that was erected without mortar or other reinforcement, meaning its disassembly would be the exact inverse action of its construction. The string, laid down by an algorithm, was the binder for stones laid by hand in thin stacks – the team called them “slices” – in what amounted to a type of analog version of 3D printing. The material process has been given the name “reversible concrete” and could be a paradigm shift in construction for its portability and versatility.

In the above video, the deconstruction of “Rock Print” is shown in abridged stages, where the structure’s string is dislodged and returned to a motorized spool on the gallery floor. The small stone fragments spew from the top of the structure like debris from the top of a volcano in the midst of eruption, and all that remains at the end is a small mound of concrete pebbles occupying a large circumference. A structure like “Rock Print” emphasizes that detritus can be avoided by adapting the process of building to vanguard materials that seek to match the brevity of contemporary construction with materials that curtail the waste.

120 Hours Announces Winners of Its 2016 Competition "What Ever Happened to Architectural Space?"

The student architecture competition “120 Hours” has released the winners of its 2016 competition—“What Ever Happened to Architectural Space?”—which this year challenged entrants to imagine a space without program or site. In a time when the discourse of architecture is influenced more by program and environment than spatial quality, the brief was uniquely challenging in its simplicity. Entries were received from over 2863 students from 72 countries, with winners selected by a jury headed by Christian Kerez and including Maria Shéhérazade Giudici, Beate Hølmebakk, Neven Mikac Fuchs and Marina Montresor.

Originally devised by students in Oslo, the competition format is intended as a way of encouraging discourse among architecture students across the world, with competition briefs released just 120 hours (5 days) before the submission deadline. These unique restrictions have fostered a reputation for unconventional and challenging proposals and winning entries in the past have included giant scaffolds of hammocks and the use of robots to inhabit an abandoned town. Read on to see the top three award recipients for 2016.

The Top 100 Universities in the World for Architecture 2016

QS has released its 2016 rankings of the top 100 schools for architecture in the world. The company has produced an annual survey of universities since 2011, now comparing including over 800 universities worldwide across 42 subjects, and rating the top universities based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. As they did last year, MIT came out top of the list in architecture. Read on for the full rankings list for architecture, and be sure to visit QS's site for the full rankings list which is sortable by subject, country or continent.

Swiss Students Design a Floating Pavilion on Lake Zurich for Manifesta 11

Manifesta—a nomadic, European biennial of contemporary art which "responds to the new social, cultural and political reality that developed in the aftermath of the Cold War"—emerged in the 1990s. For the eleventh incarnation of the event, which will take place in Zurich during the summer of 2016, Studio Tom Emerson have developed designs for a floating island which "will constitute a new temporary landmark in the city." Located on Lake Zurich and hosting an open-air cinema and integrated swimming pool, the Pavillon of Reflections will act as the central node for the 100-day festival. Designed and realised by a team of thirty students from ETH Zurich, the pavilion aims to offer a space for dialogue and reflection on the specific artworks created for the biennial.

Gramazio Kohler and Skylar Tibbits' "Rock Print" Is a Gravity-Defying Pile of Stones

As everyone knows, if you stack layer upon layer of small stones atop one another, what you eventually get is a pile of stones. It's among the least dramatic phenomena in the whole of nature; add string though, and the whole process is transformed. That's the idea behind Rock Print, an installation at the Chicago Architecture Biennial created by Gramazio Kohler Research of ETH Zurich and Skylar Tibbits of MIT's Self-Assembly Lab, which uses just these two elements to create a dramatic four-legged column that is self-supporting and can be quite literally unraveled into its constituent parts after use.

Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich + 17